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Follow-ups from January 2009 Spasmodic Dysphonia treatment Clinic
George - AD/SD 10 years : voice therapy, acupuncture, botox injections every four months from 1998 until December 2006
May 2010: George reported that his voice continued to be intermittently problematic and that when he worked hardest on his humming and singing exercises, his work was at its best. He stated that “when I get so busy and push those drills down in priority, my voice falters. It is frustrating but I control my own destiny”.
His VHI score had decreased 14 points.
EM– AD/SD with tremor 4 years: no prior treatment
EM did not report maintaining the goals she attained at the clinic. She reported being 50% compliant to her program and she did not view the DVD provided. She had no suggestions as to how we might improve the clinics.
Marja –AD/SD 2 years: No prior treatment (Marja traveled all the way from Finland, coming to the US alone, with English as her second language. We were all in awe of her courage and determination and know she will beat her SD!)
July 2009: At six months following the clinic, Marja reported “talking nearby normally due to the lessons I got from Connie and Mike. It has taken a lot of work but has been worth it. My SD colleagues, don’t give up. You can solve this mystery and learn a lot about yourself along the way.” Three months later, after learning she had cancer metastases and needed chemotherapy, she reported that “My voice was so good during the summer that nobody noticed I had SD. Now it is worst than it was before as I’m living the worst chaos of my life.” Unfortunately in times of great stress and trauma, the voice can take a downturn. We all pray for healing for Marja on all levels.
April 2010: Marja reported successful recovery from her cancer and 90% recovery of her voice. She attributed what she had learned at the clinic, changes in job and lifestyle, chiropractic adjustments and improvement in overall self esteem as critical in recovering her voice once again. She stated, "I would like to thank you both, Mike and Connie, for keeping the faith. I have not given up in the deepest moments and now I can live the life I was dreaming about."
Johnna – AD/SD 19 years but diagnosed 2 years ago: medication, psychological consultation, EMDR, Healing Touch, herbal supplements
"I am doing well and my voice is average, and no longer handicapping. My biggest challenge is cell phones. A few months back, I was sounding strained again. Stress was building at work, I was short on sleep, and I realized that I had not been working my program. After a couple of weeks of focused breathing and relaxation, along with Roger Love's exercises during my commute, I was back to my new normal voice. On an average day, I am about 80% of my old voice." VHI decreased 57 points, indicating a change from Severe Handicap to Mild.
Amy – AD/SD 3 years: 4 botox injections
2 Corinthians 4:13 “…I believe therefore I speak.”
August 2009: At seven months after the clinic, Amy reported significant improvement in her voice. She had been 90% compliant to her program, had watched her DVD, and took advantage of her free follow-up. Her biggest complaint was consistency and getting her voice to work in public as well as it did at home. Her VHI had decreased 24 points, moving from the Severe to the Moderate range.
“The progress I have made is much better than I ever had with botox, however it is different. The progress is slow but steady. I feel confident that as I progress I fully expect to maintain good voicing for the rest of my life. I am a better person from having SD. I am more compassionate, understanding, resilient, determined and my faith has grown stronger. I am more relaxed. I believe God did not inflict me with a disease but he entrusted me with a special voice for such a time as this because He had a good plan for me to make me a better person.”
Follow-ups from May 2009 Spasmodic Dysphonia Treatment Clinic
Brenda: AD/SD 15 years: regular botox injections 10 years, voice therapy
May 2010: Brenda did not return the feedback but emailed that she had not improved significantly and was planning on returning to botox injections, which had served her well for 10 years. She persisted with the program, however, and at one year, she had not found it necessary to resume botox injections and her
VHI-30 had decreased 37 points.
PM– AD/SD 10 years: Cooper’s DVR two weeks in 2006 and 2008
December 2009: PM reported more control over his voice, but not yet completely satisfied. “My voice was best right after the clinic and I have good moments and days, as well as bad voice days. At least I feel like there are things I can do to help bring the voice back. I am glad I went and feel it was worth the effort and cost. I wish there was a more formal, in person feedback session with Connie and Mike. Breathing instruction has had the most lasting impact and feel that breathing is the most important aspect to long-lasting improvement in my voice. My compliance was 80% just after the clinic and declined to around 40% by 7 months later. The follow-up video was helpful. My voice is moderately improved.” VHI decreased 16 points.
Connie had lunch with Paul in 2013 and he sounded great!
Arlene – AB/SD 6 years: 1 attempted botox injection, brief consultation with Morton Cooper, yoga
January 2010: Arlene was unable to maintain the gains she made at the clinic, reporting back that she felt only slightly improved 8 months later. She reported somewhat better control of her voice and felt that the clinic was a good investment for her voice and her life. She estimated about 20% compliance to her program and had viewed her video, finding it helpful. VHI had not improved.
Susana – AD/SD 3 years: voice therapy, two botox injections, sacrocranial stimulation, parasympathetic injections, bioenergetics
February 2010: Susana reported improved control over her voice and her life and rated the clinic as a good investment. She reported 70% compliance in the beginning, but later stopped practicing as she felt her voice improved when she stopped worrying about the exercises. She viewed her video and found it helpful.
“My voice is moderately improved. There have been times during which I have spoken normally for up to 12 days. I couldn’t believe it, and thought I had recovered my voice completely but for some reason went back to where I had been. I can keep generating a normal voice when I am speaking to big groups or someone I know is a leader. I don’t know why I can’t keep generating that.” VHI decreased 27 points, moving from the Severe to the Moderate range of handicap.
Sharon –AD/SD slow onset since 1994: short term voice therapy, botox injections every 2-6 months from 1997 until May 2008, yoga, chiropractic, voice lessons two years, and nutritional support and supplementation
June 2010 - The clinic was a good investment and gave me more control over my voice and my life. I have been 85% compliant and followed up with Mike in North Carolina in September four months after the clinic. My voice is slightly better, but I have begun to work with an Alexander teacher and am working on unraveling tensions and see this as a vital piece for me. The clinic was a vital piece of my recovery, but I needed further help. VHI-30 score decreased 35 points.
JULY 2009 Spasmodic Dysphonia Treatment Clinic Follow-ups
JM: AD/SD 8 months: no prior treatment
April 2010: My voice is slightly better, and fluctuates, depending on the situation. I am more aware of what I should be doing and more confident in speaking. I know I can do better! Compliance has been around 50% with a set back after knee surgery. VHI-30 decreased 11 points.
Johnna – AB/SD 4 years: Botox injections Fall 2007 until 2008; some worked but most did not, voice therapy, acupuncture, herbal treatments
May 2010: I no longer whisper! The clinic has allowed me to meet the challenges of my voice head on. Before the clinic, I wouldn’t mingle with co-workers or go out of my way to have a conversation, but now I do. I still don’t have the control over my voice that I want, but it has improved, and over time I believe it will get better. I would do the clinic all over again, it was a good investment. My quality of life is much better. I know that I can’t give up. I will keep working to improve my voice. It is moderately improved. VHI-30 decreased 18 points, moving from Severe to Moderate.
Betty – AD/SD & MTD almost 2 years: previously recovered her voice at the end of the September 2008 clinic but slowly lost it to a whisper.
May 2010: My voice has significantly improved. I am mindful of the process daily. I developed a positive, fearless attitude and it was a good investment, giving me more control. Voiceprint was my favorite and I use it daily. VHI-30 decreased a total of 40 points.
TH – AD/SD 2 ½ years, botox suggested but declined as he was a professional singer, speech therapy.
May 2010: Tom reported increased control over his voice and his life and moderately improved voice production. Voice handicap Index decreased 25 points.
November 2009 Spasmodic Dysphoina Treatment Follow-ups
Jaya - Hyper-functional voice, laryngeal dysfunction, and possible AD/SD 3.5 years: Speech therapy, homeopathy, osteopathy, acupuncture, massage, private consultation with Connie in June 2008, February and September 2009. Recently began work with an Alexander technique teacher and decided to attend the intensive clinic.
September 2010 – “I am much better with my confidence since the clinic. I value how I have changed my mind set about going back into the world again and it has been a real blessing to teach yoga again. I look forward to the time when I can go into a noisy place and feel heard without straining. Overall, I feel great improvement. Thank you so much, Connie. Keep up the fantastic work you are doing.” Jaya rated her voice as moderately to significantly improved although her VHI did not significantly decrease since the clinic. She had experienced a 30-point decrease after working with Connie privately over a 15-month period (several appointments in London). When asked, she was puzzled, and stated, “hummmm... I don't think I feel as *handicapped*. But I do still have moments when it’s awful! Not as often I’m pleased to say ... I definitely feel more confident since the clinic, a lot more!! Hence my starting to teach again ;))) Noisy places are still a bad place, I feel like I go 10 steps backwards “ Jaya had not yet viewed her DVD from the clinic and I encouraged her to do so to accelerate her progress.
Gopali–AB/SD 33 years, diagnosed at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Syndey, Australia at age 23 but with problems beginning at age 12 attributed to “nerves”: Speech therapy, Botox injections for 13 years, with average improvement for 5 weeks of the 12 in between injections, acupuncture, Reike, herbs, fasting, meditation, yoga, voice rest ( Had discontinued botox 18 months prior to attending the clinic).
October 2010 – Rated her voice as only slightly better, but “I have been fully recognized as having a disability and can now receive a disability pension which makes me feel acknowledged and gives me more time. There is an occasional improvement in control over my voice when all elements are in place; correct breathing, focus and mood. The clinic was an unforgettable experience full of support, acknowledgement and helpful strategies. I loved the whole experience.”
VHI had decreased 21 points.
Nicole – Hyperfunctional voice, MTD; possible psychosomatic issues 2 years: Voice therapy, medication
September 2010 – “There was definite improvement in my voice after the clinic. My fear is no longer prevalent. The clinic does a great job – I would incorporate even more ‘out of the box’ techniques and focus on root cause as well as functional aspects. I wonder why I can speak 100% in one setting but not another. This implies the mechanics are ready to work but something mental is not allowing a full voice.” Nicole rated her voice as moderately to significantly improved.
VHI had decreased 42 points.
Dale – AD/SD with first symptoms in singing voice 1980’s, affecting his speaking voice in the early 1990’s, formally diagnosed with SD 14 years ago: botox injections for several years post diagnosis, 4 weeks DVR with Dr. Cooper in 1997, resumed botox injections for the next 10 years due to the demands of his teaching job. Upon retirement from teaching, he read Connie’s book and experienced improvement using the suggested exercises and decided to enroll in the clinic.
October 2010 - “The clinic was a good investment. Learning to relax during phonation and use airflow properly were the most lasting helps. I took advantage of the feedback, was 75% compliant, and viewed my DVD. It allowed me to go back and hear my good voice. My voice is moderately improved since the clinic. “
VHI had decreased 36 points.